Research contents

The Laboratory of Plant Evolutionary Ecology includes two research groups, the Tsuchimatsu Group and the Katayama Group, both of which pursue their own research themes, while sharing the office, lab benches, and the lab meeting. Interactions between members with different backgrounds and approaches bring new ideas and boost the diversity of research fields, thereby helping us develop a broader perspective.

Tsuchimatsu Group

The Tsuchimatsu Group seeks to understand the mechanisms and processes of adaptive traits, particularly focusing on (but not limited to) mating system evolution of flowering plants. A powerful tool to address the mechanism of adaptive evolution is the genomic information at the population and species levels, which has recently become available easily thanks to the development of sequencing technologies. We are using various model and “non-model” organisms including Arabidopsis, Petunia, Lotus, green algae, Closterium, and plant-associated bacteria by utilizing interdisciplinary approaches, ranging from population genetic analysis, lab experiments and field works.

Katayama Group

The Katayama Group uses unusual plants to challenge to solve the the mysteries of evolution that cannot be unravelled from ordinary plants. With the main theme of understanding plant evolution and diversity, the group aims to uncover the ‘evolutionary constraint breakthrough factors’ of plants that have undergone dramatic evolution. Currently, research is being conducted not only on the family Podostemaceae, but also on the family Araceae, the family Lentibulariaceae and the entire families of angiosperms in order to explore the reasons why aquatic plants were able to evolve to become aquatic plants.